What to Do with a Broken Heart
By: Lynette Kittle
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” - Psalm 147:3
Unfortunately, many spouses have broken each other’s hearts. They have wounded the person they’ve promised to love, honor, and cherish for the rest of their lives.
Along with this brokenness often comes deep pain, despair, and hopelessness for the spouse who has been wounded. Sadly, many husbands and wives who are deeply wounded look for ways to hurt their spouse like they’ve been hurt.
But of course, hurting each other doesn’t lead to healing and reconciliation, nor does it make the wrongs done to them right. Instead of turning against each other in these broken conditions, the Apostle Paul urges, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
So how does a husband or wife find healing and overcome the pain their spouse has caused? How do they deal with a broken heart and the lingering hurt?
In our most crushing moments, God says He is with us. In the most devastating experiences in our lives, we can bring our brokenness to Him, recognizing He is near to us. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
As well, if our focus has been on our spouse to behave perfectly, to meet all our needs, and to complete us, we will be left disappointed. But, we can put those expectations on God, who will never fail us.
1 Corinthians 13:8, assures us that love never fails, and 1 John 4:16 explains the source of this never-failing love: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
Instead of looking to our spouse as our source of love, we can let God be the love of our lives. When we do, His love will be released in us to flow through to our spouse. Like Scripture urges, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
Unlike popular culture promotes, a spouse isn’t the one who completes us in life. God does. Mistakenly, most look to another person to make them feel complete, but God didn’t intend a marriage relationship to take His place in our lives. He is the only One able to complete us and meet all our needs.
Looking to a spouse to give us what only God can give us is sure to bring disappointment and failure in marriage. Yet, God can take two imperfect individuals who recognize their need and dependence on Him and make them whole, complete in Him.
His picture of wholeness shows a husband and wife looking to Him as the Perfect One, who fulfills their heart’s desires and meet all their needs.
It's encouraging for us to remember that God is the only source of goodness and perfection in the world. As James 1:17 explains, “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
What expectations do you need to take off of your spouse and give over to God? What hurts do you need to give to Christ? What would it look like for you to extend forgiveness to your spouse today?
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, iBelieve.com, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, Startmarriageright.com, growthtrac.com, and more. She has an M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as an associate producer for Soul Check TV.
Originally published Friday, 26 May 2023.